~ Stephen R Covey, Author.
Many of us struggle when trying to influence others (sometimes we can’t even influence ourselves!)
One of the key elements of influencing is credibility.
You may have heard the saying: perception is reality – Other people judge you by your actions (what you do, what you say or how you act) and NOT by your intentions. Your behavior has a huge impact on your credibility.
You are your demonstrated behavior…
I’m often asked the question: How can I build my personal credibility?
Just because you’re CEO of your company or a manager/team leader in your department, this doesn’t mean that others will listen to you. Credibility isn’t guaranteed – you have to create it.
Sometimes you can leverage your expertise or use your status to influence others. You also may have witnessed where this power is over used (usually when someone’s ego kicks in and they become power-crazed!).
One often overlooked power-base is integral to your credibility (and authenticity): your personal power. It can be very effective.
I believe that we all are all born with unlimited personal power. Life bestows this gift upon us. As kids, we test it out in its purest form. Over time our personal power is shaped by cultural, social and parental influences around us.
These create layers of structure and conditioning that teach us how to blend and fit in. We unconsciously follow what is ‘acceptable’ behavior for someone in that role being influenced by those who we perceive to have authority around us.
We are taught to keep our head down, be a ‘good employee’ and we blend into to our surroundings. Our own personal power is pushed down and subdued.
Sometimes we play small, perhaps over-awed by the perceived power of others. We become de-sensitized and numb to our own personal power, falsely believing that others have higher value and worth.
Your own personal power is ALWAYS available to you… You just have to choose to use it by becoming the power point in your life.
Here’s how to develop your Personal Power…
Clarity - People with high levels of personal power are clear and focused on what is important. They know what they want to achieve and can describe it to others. They have clear goals and take deliberate action.
Self-awareness – Most people struggle to allow their own voice to speak out. Finding your voice allows you to contribute, lead and make a difference. It is an evolving process: You don’t just wake up one morning and it’s lying next to you! You have to become a Student of YOU and go in search of it.
There are untapped talents lying dormant inside all of us. Tap into your strengths: What are you good at? What do you enjoy doing? What are you passionate about? Build on your strengths by looking for opportunities to use them in your daily work. Share them with others: I have value…Here’s how I can help.
Energy and Enthusiasm - Energy and enthusiasm are linked. They feed off each other and are key components of personal power. Successful, positive people have an abundance of energy. Enthusiasm is infectious: What are you infecting the people around you with??
Empathy - Understanding the other person’s map of the world, as they see it, is hugely important if you want to influence them effectively. If I believe that you understand me I will be more open and honest with you. Listening and understanding is important because people buy off people they know, like and trust. Genuinely show that you care. This isn’t about YOU… It’s ALL ABOUT THEM. Tune in to the people you are serving – Get to know them.
By being empathic you are demonstrating that you understand and respect their point of view (Even if you disagree). You are giving them value, showing you care by being authentic.
Self-belief - You are what you believe. Your thinking is YOUR reality. People with high levels of personal power believe in their vision and take deliberate action to make things happen. Learn how to reframe your limiting beliefs and change your thinking. Become the power point in your life. Believing in yourself makes you credible to others.
Lead the way – You don’t need formal authority to lead – Our conditioning just makes us falsely believe this. Stop waiting to be one of the ‘chosen few.’ Decide to step into your power and be proactive rather than reactive. Stop waiting for someone to give you permission to lead. Self-leadership begins from the inside out. Lead yourself and others will follow… Just be YOU!
Look for support – A coach can help you develop and leverage your personal power. This can make a huge difference to your confidence and success.
Re-connect to your personal power.